Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Christiane Amanpour, Continued...

We wrote yesterday about Christiane Amanpour’s debut on This Week, ABC’s Sunday morning talk show.  Unfortunately, she was treated to a petty and downright stupid review by the Washington Post’s tv reviewer, Tom Shales.  We promised in that blog that we would focus on Christiane today.  It’s certainly feels good to get the taste of Tom Shales’s column out of our system.
Christiane Amanpour was born in Iran in 1958 (January 12, for those of you interested in astrology.)  According to Wikipedia [here], her father was an Iranian airline executive and her mother was English.  The family lived well under the Shah.  Christiane finished her primary school education in Iran and was then sent to England to boarding school.  She graduated from New Hall School, which at the time was an all-girls Roman Catholic boarding school.  (It has since admitted boys to the upper grades and has an interesting way of combining single-sex eduction in some grades and co-education in others.)  When Christiane graduated, the Islamic Revolution erupted in Iran, followed by Iraq’s invasion of the country.  The family and Christiane elected to remain in England, rather than return to her native country.
She moved to the United States to complete her education at the University of Rhode Island, where she studied journalism.  During her university days she worked in the news department of WBRU-FM gaining practical experience in her chosen field.  Amanpour graduated summa cum laude in 1983 with a degree in journalism. 
When she graduated from college, she immediately went to work for CNN in Atlanta in what has been described as an entry-level “desk assistant.”  Her first major assignment was covering the Persian Gulf War.  In 1989 she was transferred to Frankfort, Germany to cover the disintegration of the Soviet domination of eastern Europe.   By 1990 she was a correspondent for CNN’s New York bureau.
In that year, Iraq invaded Kuwait and her reports about the invasion brought CNN new prominence in the world of television journalism.   She also reported from Bosnia and the Gulf, on occasion parachuting in to troubled spots, arousing a mixture of amazed adulation and envious putdowns about “parachute” journalism.
From 1992-2010 Amanpour was CNN’s chief international correspondent.  In March Amanpour announced that she was leaving CNN to host ABC’s Sunday morning This Week, the show which first aired last Sunday.   In her announcement of the move to ABC, she added this touching statement: [Here]
I leave CNN with the UTMOST respect, love and admiration for the company and everyone who works here.  This has been my family and shared endeavor for the past 27 years and I am forever grateful and proud of all that we have accomplished.
As we wrote yesterday, Christiane and ABC have broken the Sunday morning male-only host mold and what a wonderful breakthrough for all female journalists and for ABC.  And what a fine career step for this journalist.  She has received all manner of awards and honors, including a CBE (Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) from Queen Elizabeth II, but I suspect that this is the career move that will please her the most.  
It must be splendid to know that you no longer have to jump out of a plane to tell your story.
Congrats, Christiane...

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